In a shocking case coming out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, a mother who consented to what she was told was a “field trip” discovered that her 16-year-old daughter had been taken — by representatives of a local clinic and with the consent of school officials — to receive the Norplant contraceptive implant.
The girl — whose name is being withheld because she is a minor — is a student at Langston Hughes Academy, an arts and technology charter school located in North Tulsa. Her mother, Miracle Foster, told FOX23 that she was blindsided when her daughter came home with the implant. “Had I known that this field trip was to get that done, I would not have allowed her to go,” Foster said, adding, “I just feel like my rights as a parent were violated.”
While it is obvious to any right-thinking person that Foster is correct in her assertion that her parental rights were violated, the overreaching federal guidelines in the Title X Family Planning Program serve to give Uncle Sam’s stamp of approval to that violation. Because of the overreach of the federal government — and the acquiescence of state governments addicted to federal monies — parental rights have come under increasing attacks in the past few decades. According to interpretations of Title X, children as young as 12 years old are allowed to receive contraceptives without a parent's consent.
While the report from FOX News makes it appear this was a recent event, Foster’s daughter actually received the implant in November. When her daughter told her about it that evening, Foster cried. In an interview with The New American, Foster said, “It’s like they take the parental control away. These are children who cannot make decisions.” She added that children need their parents “to nurture them” and “to protect them.” She also said that by taking the place of the parent, the government school system deprives those children of that nurturing and protection.
At least one Oklahoma state legislator agrees with Foster. Dr. Mike Ritze spoke with The New American about the issues surrounding this case. Dr. Ritze is well qualified to speak to this issue. He is a family physician who has delivered around 2,000 babies. He is also the chairman of the Oklahoma House Public Health Committee and a ranking member of the Oklahoma House Public Safety Committee. He told The New American, “If the mother [had given her] permission, I would disagree with her, if she was not properly informed of the dangers of Norplant,” adding, “Norplant can cause strokes, blood clots, migraine headaches and other side effects.” But since Foster did not consent to her minor daughter receiving a hormonal implant, Dr. Ritze pointed out the duplicity in the way the law deals with this issue. “A school official cannot give a [minor] student an aspirin without the parent’s consent, but can take them out of school to get contraception.” Or an abortion.
Dr. Ritze said it may be “legally wrong” for the school to have allowed the student to be taken to the clinic to get the implant without her mother’s consent. He added that — either way — it is certainly morally wrong. “The government shouldn’t have anything to do with promoting anything but abstinence,” he said. He added that abstinence is not just the best method for avoiding pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases; it is the only method that always works. But because government schools have been drinking at the poisoned well of of progressive liberalism, Dr. Ritze said the attitude of the government schools seems to be “We know students are going to be promiscuous — like monkeys — so let them go out there and use a condom or other birth control or get an abortion if they get pregnant.” He added, “The truth is that they (the students) are not monkeys; they are people, made in the image of God, and when they are given the right information about their choices and the consequences, they can make better choices — like abstinence.”
Those are some pretty serious risks for a 16-year-old girl to take — especially since it seems that she was never even made aware of them. Foster said her daughter was not given any information about the dangers of Norplant. She said her daughter told her “the lady told her about the different choices she had” but did not discuss side effects or risks.
Foster knows her daughter. Granted, her daughter made a decision without talking it over with her, but that seems to be a mark of teenagers. This writer asked Foster if she thought her daughter would have had any type of medical implant — for any reason, contraception or otherwise — that carried those risks if she had been educated about them. “No, no. She would not agree,” she said, “I think that would have scared her. I know for sure she would not have.” She added, “I wasn’t there, so I don’t know how much information they gave her. I don’t know if there was pressure there — I don’t know.”
And because the government school system and the clinic can hide behind Title X, Foster may never know. After all, the only reason she knows about the Norplant implant in the first place is because her daughter told her.
Laws are supposed to protect minors. Because society recognizes that young people do not always have the best judgment, they are protected from those who would prey on them. That is why minors cannot enter into many legal contracts without parental consent. For instance, minors in most states are protected from incurring debt by not being able to get credit cards. But the way Title X is interpreted, as soon as a child is at “reproductive age” (as young as 12), he or she can be exploited by the contraception industry.
Let that sink in: A person whose judgment is rightly considered underdeveloped to the point that he or she cannot make decisions about the ramifications of incurring debt is considered wise and experienced enough to make decisions about having sex, receiving contraception, or getting an abortion. The parent cannot object because the parent doesn’t even have to be told.
Oklahoma’s government school sex-education curricula (like all government school curricula in the state) has to be approved by the legislature. Currently, it favors an approach toward teaching abstinence. But as Dr. Ritze explained, “What is happening with the advent of Planned Parenthood and some of the other more progressive and liberal elements is that they have tried to introduce legislation year after year” to include what he called “how-to” education. “It’s like the failed DARE program [which ostensibly was a drug use prevention program] that turned out basically to be a ‘how-to’ course on drug experimentation — teaching kids how to use drugs.”
In fact, a bill “masquerading as a bill about HIV and STD prevention”— authored by Representative Emily Virgin — introduced this legislative session would have placed sex education curricula under the control of the State Department of Education. Dr. Ritze said, “several of us rose to the concern in the debate that that was morally wrong and something we couldn’t agree with because that is our job as legislators to spell out what they should do and not do in education on such a critical subject.” The progressive liberals in the legislature objected, saying that the legislature didn’t have the expertise to address those issues. “I rose again to remind them of my credentials — and there’s another physician in the House who has credentials on teaching all about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.”
Dr. Ritze said that while speaking out against the bill on the floor of the House, he asked Representative Virgin about what kinds of condoms she would want to recommend to students, since her bill would have allowed that to be taught as part of the “how-to” sex education class. He told The New American, “She said, ‘Well, that’s a very sensitive subject. I don’t think we should be discussing that.’ I said, ‘Wait a minute. You’re wanting to teach children — seventh graders and on — how to use condoms, but you don't want to discuss that amongst adults on the floor of the House and let parents know what we’re going to be teaching?’ and she got embarrassed and didn’t want to go any further when she realized the bill was headed for defeat.” The bill was defeated, but it — or something much like it — will likely return.
Reintroducing bills — time and again — seems to be a favorite tactic of those whose agenda it is to reshape the very fabric of American society by attacking basic morality. And schools seem to be one of their favorite points of attack. Even as they seek legislation on the one hand, they rely on overreaching — and largely unknown or misunderstood — interpretations of federal guidelines on the other hand.
That can be illustrated by Foster’s experience. She told The New American, “The day it happened, I contacted the school.” She spoke to Assistant Principal Mario Choice. “He said he was going to contact the organization that picks up the children and that he would call me back.” Because this was the week of Thanksgiving break, she didn’t get that call until the next week. She said Choice told her that the representative at the clinic — Youth Services of Tulsa — that he spoke with said that because of Title X, “the kids didn’t have to have consent to get any type of birth control.” Foster added, “To me that just didn’t sound right, because I’ve never heard that before. Like I said it was a school field trip, so I didn’t know anything like this could happen. Had I known, I wouldn’t have given consent for her to go on the field trip.”
Foster said she thought the reason for the field trip to the clinic was to get information that her daughter could bring home for them to discuss as mother and daughter. “We have our own doctor. We have a relationship with our doctor.” She added that contraception is something she and her daughter have discussed. “In October we talked about birth control.” But because Foster — as a parent — wanted to be a part of that decision, she was shocked to hear that the school and the clinic had circumvented her parental authority and responsibility by removing her entirely from that decision-making process.
A statement released by the school echoes Choice’s words to Foster:
This was not a field trip. Youth Services of Tulsa does an annual in-service on Sex Education. They offer students an opportunity to contact them on their own for more information. The parent gave her child permission to leave the school. Under Title X once young people are at the clinic and are of reproductive age, they can make decisions on their own without parental consent. As you can understand this situation involves a minor and we do not release information about students. Nevertheless, the student was well within their rights of Title X which is a federal guideline that provides reduced cost family planning services to persons of all reproductive age.
Next, Foster reached out to the school board. She told us, “I went to the school board before I went to the news.” She added that the school board admitted to being ignorant of the situation. “The school board didn’t know about it.” She said the school board asked questions — such as “How did this happen?” and “Was the disclosure out there?” and “Who is this organization?” — of the school principal, Dr. Rodney L. Clark. She said the principal “didn’t know that this could be a possibility for them [the students] to get anything done” at the clinic.
But in the end, the only answer Foster got was that — because of Title X — no one had any obligation to get her consent or even to inform her. When asked how she feels about it even all these months later, she told The New American, “I’m p***ed! Quote that. I’m p***ed off.”
And, who can blame her?
Because the girl is a minor, the school is legally obligated not to “release information about” her. This magazine is not publishing the girl’s name out of a moral responsibility because of her age. It is a bizarre situation when everyone seems to agree that the girl — based solely on her age — deserves to be protected by not having her name and information published, but the school and school board cannot see that she needed protection from being exploited by the contraception industry.
Foster is not alone in her concern about the direction government schools are taking to supersede the authority of parents. Casey Polczynski, who lives in Central Virginia, is a mother of two children. Last year, her daughter — who, at the time, was in kindergarten and not yet six years old — came home and announced she wanted to marry her friend when she grows up. Her friend is also a girl. Polczynski asked her daughter why she thought she could do that. She said her daughter told her, “My teacher said boys can marry boys and girls can marry girls.” Polczynski explained to her daughter that the teacher was mistaken.
This year, because of that episode opening her eyes, Polczynski is taking a more proactive approach. While visiting the school last week, she asked the school nurse about any programs that may be coming up that she would need to know about. She told The New American, “I asked what programs I needed to know about to make sure my rights as a parent were being protected.” She said the nurse was taken aback by the question and answered that Polczynski’s son’s fifth grade class would be having the “boys talk” but there was nothing to worry about because “this is not the sex education talk, it’s just about things like hygiene and wet dreams.” If classroom discussion about "wet dreams" is not “the sex education talk,” one wonders what subject matter will be taught in sex education.
Polczynski told the nurse that she would not want her son in that class and was informed that a consent form would be sent to her and unless she signed it, he would not be in the class anyway. If that is true, it's likely because her son is shy of his 12th birthday and not yet considered of “reproductive age” by the prevalent interpretation of Title X. Next year, Polczynski will probably not be involved in that decision. In fact, if the trend continues, her son may well be taken off campus to a contraception clinic and sent home with a box or three of condoms.
As the government school system continues down into the sewer, concerned parents who care about their children’s moral formation are seeking solutions. As Dr. Duke Pesta, Director of FreedomProject Academy, explained in an interview with The New American:
For years, we at FreedomProject Academy have been fighting this [the immoral agenda of the government school system]. I’ve given hundreds of talks all over the country about this. What’s happening here — and this is a symptom of a larger problem — the federal government has taken control over America’s public schools. And they have decided that the primary purpose of public schools is to serve as surrogate parents. It is not to educate your kids; it is not to make your kids college-ready; it is not to prepare your kids to be entrepreneurs or business owners. The primary purpose of America’s public schools now is social justice education. That means that teachers, school nurses, school administrators, are assuming almost every aspect of parental responsibility — from your kids’ health-care to your kids’ birth control choices to how young they’re going to teach your kids about sex and homosexuality.
Dr. Pesta added, “They are doing this whether you want them to or not.” When asked what parents whose children are in government schools can do to fix this, Dr. Pesta said, “There’s no way you’re going to fix this because control has now been ceded to the federal government.” As Foster’s story illustrates, Dr. Pesta is correct. Local, city, county, and state schools and school boards will simply hide behind Title X and keep on keeping on with the immoral agenda of — as Dr. Ritze said — treating kids like promiscuous monkeys.
Fortunately for those parents who don’t want to go along with — and have their children exposed to — that Godless agenda, there are choices. FreedomProject Academy is one such choice. It is a fully accredited online school offering a classical liberal arts K-12 education where each parent can have as much control as he or she wants. Every class is streamed live via the Web and is recorded for parents and students alike to review at any time. The instructors teach the subjects they are qualified to teach and share a worldview consistent with the Judeo-Christian ethic of morality and liberty upon which our country was founded. It offers everything from individual classes to full programs.
As Dr. Pesta explains, FreedomProject Academy meets a need because “there is no in-house solution” to fixing the government school system. You can’t fix something that wants to be broken. As more parents such as Foster and Polczynski continue to have these experiences and reach the end of their ropes, programs such as FreedomProject Academy will continue to grow.